Cinematical’s Erik Childress has done another early Oscar article focusing on who’s here, who’s coming and what the Best Actor race might shape up to look like eventually, you know, if all goes well. As bloggers and critics sharpen their knives and their crystal balls for the upcoming Toronto, Telluride and Venice film fests, we’ll hear a word here or two about this or that performance. At some point, though, in the next few weeks we should have a much better idea about where the Best Actor Five will come from. Here is how Erik breaks it down:
IF THE NOMINATIONS CAME OUT NEXT WEEK (IT MIGHT LOOK LIKE)
1. Robert Duvall “Get Low”
2. Leonardo DiCaprio “Shutter Island” or “Inception”
3. Michael Douglas “Solitary Man”
4. Ben Stiller “Greenberg”
5. Michael Caine “Harry Brown“
Take away Michael Caine and Ben Stiller and maybe. The key here is the double dip of Leonardo DiCaprio. I would have taken Caine out, definitely Stiller (“for fuck’s sake, Ozzie.”) and put Leo twice, if we’re talking the first part of the year.
If it were me, I’d also include the known contenders from Cannes – namely, Javier Bardem for Biutiful, Ryan Gosling for Blue Valentine and perhaps Sean Penn for Fair Game. But let’s leave them off for the moment. What I can tell you is this. I will be stunned if there are two better performances this year than Gosling and Bardem. Two depressing films, to be sure. Two stunning, inside-out, career performances. Let’s continue, shall we?
THEIR TOP COMPETITORS (BASED ON TRAILERS ONLY)
1. Stephen Dorff “Somewhere”
2. Sam Rockwell “Conviction”
3. Jim Broadbent “Another Year”
4. Jake Gyllenhaal “Love and Other Drugs”
5. Kevin Spacey “Casino Jack”
No to all. Broadbent will probably go in for Supporting. I would not include any of these. If I had to, the only one I would name would be Sam Rockwell but only because he changes himself physically. None of these actors has a decent shot at the Big Five to my mind. But it is early yet.
SUPPORTING ACTOR: IF THE NOMINATIONS CAME OUT NEXT WEEK (IT MIGHT LOOK LIKE)
1. Mark Ruffalo “The Kids Are All Right”
2. Bill Murray “Get Low”
3. John Hawkes “Winter’s Bone”
4. Richard Jenkins “Eat Pray Love”
5. Ben Kingsley “Shutter Island“
No to all but Ruffalo. Bill Murray maybe — if Get Low had gotten much better reviews, perhaps. One never knows, but I suspect that the general dislike of Murray and the general “blah” the film has received will not make him the first on anyone’s list. These would not be my choices but Supporting Actor is a bit thin at the moment.
SUPPORTING ACTOR: THEIR TOP COMPETITORS (BASED ON TRAILERS ONLY)
1. John Malkovich “Secretariat”
2. Bob Hoskins “Made In Dagenham”
3. Josh Brolin “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps” or “You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger”
4. Tom Wilkinson “The Debt”
5. Jeremy Renner or Chris Cooper “The Town“
Maybe to Bob Hoskins. Yes to Jeremy Renner or Chris Cooper. I never count out Tom Wilkinson. Malkovich – in my dreams. Somehow I doubt it for this.
If I had to nail down my own hot names for Best Actor this year, it would go like this.
Michael Douglas for Solitary Man or Wall Street 2 (the cancer thing doesn’t hurt, I know, how horrible to say)
Javier Bardem for Biutiful — beautiful man, popular actor, career performance
Ryan Gosling for Blue Valentine – beautiful man, popular actor, star on the rise, career performance
Leonardo DiCaprio for Inception
Leonardo DiCaprio for Shutter Island (he will probably cancel himself out)
Sean Penn for Fair Game — because he’s at that stage where almost everything he does will get noticed.
Not seen yet but feel so good inside:
Colin Firth for The King’s Speech (if it is a good script, he could be your winner)
James Franco for 127 Hours
Mark Wahlberg for The Fighter (Oscar loves them the boxers)
Jeff Bridges for True Grit (forgot him earlier but YES)
And maybe the Social Network could spit out a few.¬†¬† Tree of Life, who knows?